Townsend 2 taiwan

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Typhoon! Pictures!

Welcome to the East Coast Brothers and Sisters,
This Last preparation we went to up to Hualian and more than that, Tailuge. Basically think of Avatar (Mostly the blue people Avatar one) all right. Well I went there you can say. It was crazy, it was "Raining" but it was more like someone had turned on a mist machine because we were up so high in the mountains. We didn't have a whole lot of time so we couldn't hike or go to the top as we planned up it was still rad. I think the best part was getting to know one of the hualian members. Wan dixiong. He is their mission leader and he is great. He is a hair stylist and he kept asking us if we wanted our hair cut. (I couldn't tell if my hair was that bad or he was wanting to be the taiwanese generous) Anyways it was good. It was cool I figured out some words in the car and so we when we went to the beach I was able to talk to him about boating, the ocean, and fishing. It was awesome. Nicest guy.
That night up in Hualian we helped out the Zone leaders with a couple of lessons. They went pretty well. The only problem we had was transportation and the rain. we had two bikes, four missionaries. Not good numbers. So Elder Leavitt and I had to run from lesson to lesson and lesson to home. Ha I was trying to picture what this would look like to the Taiwanese people. Two white foreigners in dress clothes and yellow plastic bags (Ponchos), running in the rain down the road. Ha We had one car slow down and she asked us in her best English, "do you need help?!" ha we laughed told her we were ok. She drove off and then we realized we had a problem. We didn't share the Gospel with her! ha next time. By the end of that experience, I was soaked (I believe it wasn't rain, more like sweat), one of my shoes was full of rain (Somehow it got left out in the rain when we were at the lesson and the other one was fine), and jolly. Ha it makes the work more fun when you sing and work your hardest.
On tuesday we had interviews with president. It was great, it was about 7 minutes, but I could have gone a lot longer talking to President, such an amazing man. No doubt about it he was chosen to come here.
Wednesday the highlight was English Class. It was gnarly. ha They are so great, we went over food. Its really funny for me because I need to use more Chinese then I am used to while teaching English. The best part was that they did their homework! I had a couple of new comers but the three members from last time, they all shared their testimony in English! It was fantastic and spiritual. The spiritual thought at the end was also really good too. They all participated in it so it brought the spirit in.
Heavenly Father really does answer prayers. We had a friend, Alfonso, who we couldn't get a hold of for a couple of weeks. I had praying none stop to be able to have at least one more chance to meet him. We finally got a hold of him and set up for Friday. So on Friday I got to see him again. It was great to see him, but a bit sad at the same time because he had been so good about reading and praying before the "break" and now he hadn't done any of that. I could really notice the light and dimmed a bit. But the good news is that he is willing to start meeting again, read, and pray! Such a blessing and I just thank heavenly father for it.
I love Church. But Church for some reason was a bit more difficult to understand as usually. Its all good though. I just love the fact that I have the privilege to be surrounded by so many great people. They trully are some of the hardest working and spiritually intuned people. After Church we meet with Alfonso and I asked Johnson to help us peike (accompany our lesson). The lesson went amazing, we hadn't planned on meeting with him till later that night but since he had to change plans he was able to come. The lesson was completely guided by the Spirit and it was just too amazing. Well the funniest story has to be at night when we went to visit Zhang jun cheng. Ha We shared a scripture about how we need to have our treasure in heaven. He was telling us how God wouldn't steal our money and our treasure. He somehow got on the issue that God doesn't use money or accept because he doesn't have pockets. Hahaha He was so funny, He would use a Godly voice when he would reject it. ha he also showed us a picture of Jesus and said, "See! He doesn't have pockets!, he might keep it in his belt but he doesn't have pockets!" ha I love the man.
Well lots of love and hope you enjoy the extremely long letter!
Elder Townsend

Tailuge, beach, and the amazing alfonso! I promise I am not that white,. also these last couple of weeks we have been hit by a typhoon so lots of rain lots of wet clothing. I think I need to invest in rain gear. (AKA jacket, pants) I am a little bit tired of coming home with soaked pants and clothing in general, but its ok! It sounds like everything is busy on the homefront but still good as ever. Remember that I love all of you and wish sometimes I could join you over there, but I am in Taiwan, which is fantastic doing the Lord's work.
love, buster

 Elder Richens and Buster

 Not sure Buster can read that sign...climbing in scary places doesn't make his mom too happy!
 This place is amazing! What a lucky kid!

Week 8 Taiwan

First I got the Goods. The packages have arrived, and they are great.
Well I survived with my first week with my new companion! No he is great and a hard worker. He really knows how to work with the spirit has amazing transitions from each doctrinal point we need to teach which helps me out because I tend to be scatter brained. It’s good and fun though. I've had to be the "Senior Companion" for this past week but it wasn't too bad. We didn't get lost I was always able to get us back safely. :) This week was a bit crazy. My companion had to go up to Taipei for a big leadership meeting so I went to Hualian. Ah. It wasn't too bad; the Elder I went on splits on with was great, Elder Fang, a native. He made it good. It was more of the day that was rough. It rained all day, I was afraid I was going to kill the bike or the bike would kill me (one of two and luckily neither), no sleep, and no one would talk with us. ha It was pretty funny because Elder Fang was new to the area so we probably rode the some area like five times without going where we needed to. It was all good. I learned a couple of things. Remain in high spirits always, bring a map (if you know how to use it), invest in rain gear, and just think the best of everyone no matter how unique they might be. It was a good experience and I am glad I had it even though I didn't enjoy it as I should have.
Our Branch Mission Leader took us out to go eat lunch and this was the view we had. Unreal right? It was pretty good food too, but I like the view better. Taiwanese people are also really blunt I realized. He asked me if I was accustomed to Taiwan, I said yes, he then asked me if I had diarrhea. No big deal just eating food and he's asking my ingestive system was having some rapid movement. ha Only in Taiwan. I love the Taiwanese people and that has been a big this semester is focusing on loving the people. Their culture is just different and you love them and just need to mold in with them. (On something’s, not all)
We had a cool lesson with a less active. His testimony was really strong and he was trying to figure out right now how to choose which college. I shared my experience of asking God what I should do and how reading and praying help me receive an answer that said I need to go to college first before going on my mission. I am so thankful that I did. I learned and gained a lot of experience from that experience and it’s helped me out here incredibly.
Just want to challenge everyone to study about the Savior's love and how you can apply it to your own life and see how that changes your thoughts towards others this week. I can promise you will be happier and that your relationship with others will get better.
Elder Townsend

Monday, May 9, 2011

More pictures!

Happy Mother's Day from Taiwan!

Hello One and All!
Another week and the first transfer gone by in Taiwan. Time flies or rides a little scooter and wears a construction helmet if you're in Taiwan. Well this week had its ups and downs, but overall it was a blessing. Oh, first off Happy Mother's day to all those dear sweet mothers or future mums. You're fantastic.

Well Taiwan. This week one of the better parts is Wu hun long. He is such a happy guy and has absolutely no Christian background, but that doesn't stop him. He has the gift of believing that's for sure. We shared with him the Joseph Smith experience and said he didn't believe. We asked him why he thought that way, found his concern and clarified a few points and challenged him to pray.
But before we could challenge him to pray, he said, "you know what, I don't see why God and Jesus wouldn't appear, I believe it’s true."
Amazing how the spirit helps testify if there is understanding. In Doctrine and Covenants it talks more about it but I forgot where... Well anyways WE had a few investigators lose interest and we are pretty sure that we will end up dropping them for a little bit and come back to them later. We got fang'd a lot again. Elder Sessions and I guess it’s been over 40+'s. Rough. But I just need to help these people to see the urgency and how they can be affected now and the long run.

So, I was supposed to be together with my companion for two transfers for training but we got an unexpected call on Friday night from President. He told Elder Sessions he was moving! More than that he would be the new zone leader in Shilin! A bit unexpected, sad, exciting? and yeah just weird. Even though it’s hard it has been a blessing. He gets to help a lot of people now up in Taipei and I get to learn to lean on the Lord more than him. I read some scriptures that are pretty comforting. In Alma 58 I think, Helaman was wondering why they haven't received help for war. The thing that caught my attention the most was he said even though they don't know why, they will trust in the Lord, and he will strengthen them despite their weaknesses. I thought this applied so well. I don't know why I won't still have trainer and why I am being put with a young guy, but I just need to trust in the Lord, trust in my mission president and my weaknesses can become strong and I can face the challenges.
My new companion's name is Elder Riches. From- Arizona. 1 of 11 pretty sure... He is awesome. I have a feeling we will tear it up here with the Lord's help of course. I know the Lord will strengthen us in ways we don't know yet. Well lots of love from the little Island of Taiwan from the even smaller city of Taidong, particularly the North part.
Elder Townsend

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good times in Taiwan

 Exploring caves in the mountains on P-day!
 Rain, rain go away...
 This is one lucky missionary with the ocean so close and so beautiful.

Week 18 How time flies!


Taiwan is great! We are tugging along, we had some trials. Taiwan definitely came out of its "strange cold front". It’s ridiculous. I don't mean to be gross, but I sweat like there is no tomorrow. I literally step out the door and boom, covered in sweat. I invested in this green towel for 18 kuai and it’s the best investment into things not of a spiritual nature. I love it!

Oh congrats again to all the mission calls! I am so pumped for all of you! It kind of freaks me out a little bit. I have already been out for about 4 months/18 weeks and everyone else is leaving by my 8th month mark. I can't believe how fast we get old. Gotta love it though!

Last week we found this guy li xiao jun and he was pretty cool. Worried us a little bit because he thought he might have mental problems. Met with him on Monday, was pretty good, and set up for Wednesday.
I went on exchanges with Elder Zhang on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was really great and we taught this super cute family. The little boy bit his older sister and that was what you call a spirit killer.

Wednesday was a bit interesting.  Elder Zhang said we needed to send a microwave back to the bu (Mission headquarters). He said we needed to box it. We spent some time finding some boxes. None of them were big enough to fit so we cut them and taped it on. Ha classic. We used all the tape and then we realized we forgot to wrap the glass plate inside. We then proceeded to cut it back open and wrap the plate. Put the plate back in, Elder Zhang threw in a bunch of bottles, and little cartons in there to keep it from moving. We then had to buy more tape and try to figure out our makeshift box again. Took it to the local Seven and shipped it off! By the way the Seven is the ultimate place in Taiwan, every corner has one. No joke.
So Elder Sessions with Elder Lusupudan and a member went to visit li Xiao Jun. When they got there he came out and started yelling go back, return. His dad who was inside starting yelling that he was crazy. Well we at least did our best to help him.
Friday we met with Chen. He was really cool. It’s funny we were meant to meet with him. Earlier in the week he was a referral and called and set up. We went over to his place and I recognized him as a guy who had fang'd us last Saturday. Apparently what happened, him and his buddy met the other elders. His buddy gave them Chen's number. Then we a couple of hours later met the Chen guy and set up for Saturday. No show. So now to this last Friday we are sharing a lesson with. I think that's pretty clear we needed to meet with him and he was really open. He shared how rough things have been, how he dropped out of a big college, no job, family problems, etc. The gospel fits him perfectly. Tried setting a baptismal date, changed subject so we are going to try again this Tuesday when we meet with him.
 We also went to Lu ye. This place is awesome. It’s a small town on the side of the mountain. We visited one of our new converts shared a message, and talked to him about farming. I have to say there are a lot of people here who's English is better than mine. He is fluent basically. He teaches a class there, but he dreams of being a farmer. He is awesome.
Saturday met with some people and it was good. Went to the Lai family's for dinner it was really good. I am praying that the spirit can help Lai dixiong realize that he needs to be baptized and go to the temple with his family. That's my goal for right now. The other elders had a baptism too! It was awesome. Wang Hong Ming. I like to think he is a Taiwanese version of me.
Sunday we went to our Branch President's house for dinner. Way good. One of the pictures is from his roof. Amazing and unreal.
Well this morning we went into the mountain and bunker so that's what that picture is.
Lots of love!
Tang zhang Lao,
Elder Townsend aka reminding all those back at home the gospel is true.

What a great view!

Dinner at Branch President's house and view from the top of his home.